This week it’s a one-two punch of Marvel as we look at the new Star Wars series Obi-Wan and Anakin, and go for a swing with Spidey!
Note: These titles may have already been on comic shelves due to a shipping error. They were scheduled for this week.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan and Anakin #1 (Marvel Comics)
My thoughts on the Star Wars prequels are….complicated. So when Obi-Wan and Anakin, the latest Marvel Star Wars miniseries was announced, I was hesitant. However, once I saw that Lando writer Charles Soule and Shattered Empire artist Marco Checchetto were on the book, my interest went up considerably. And while this opening issue is pretty light in the plot department, the character work more than makes up for it.
Set a few years after Phantom Menace, Obi-Wan and Anakin finds the Jedi Master and his Padawan crash landing on a planet that is at war. The two Jedi must now make their way across a planet that is not only at war, but has no idea what Jedi are as well.
Yeah, that’s as detailed of a plot synopsis I can give. Yes, it’s light, but Charles Soule does a fantastic job of getting into the mindset of both Anakin and his master. The Jedi’s crash at the beginning of the book sets up a great scenario where Anakin asks his master why the Jedi (and the Senate) haven’t come to this planet’s aide before. That question is clearly going to shape this miniseries, and even gives us a glimpse into Anakin’s mistrust of the Jedi order. Not only that, but Soule finds time to work in a stellar flashback sequence showing Palpatine, Mace Windu, and Obi-Wan overlooking Anakin’s training. It’s an extremely necessary and great scene that helps flesh out the Anakin and Palpatine relationship that was only hinted at in the prequels.
Marco Checchetto’s stellar art once again hits it out of the park with Obi-Wan and Anakin. Much like his art in Shattered Empire, Checchetto has a great sense of the Star Wars universe, and excels at showing off this universe. The spaceships, lightsabers, and characters all look awesome, and look very similar to their cinematic counterparts.
While Obi-Wan and Anakin’s first issue was a bit of a slow burn, I’m still very interested in it. Soule and Checchetto seem to be working on something that will help flesh out the two character’s relationship, and who knows, it might make the prequels better in hindsight (doubtful), Regardless, it’s very reassuring to see that Marvel is going to touch on ALL aspects of the Star Wars franchise, and put their best creators on them as well.
Spidey #2 (Marvel Comics)
Sometimes you just want a slice of nostalgia. Sure, it’s great seeing how Captain America, Wolverine, and Spider-Man have evolved over the years, but every now and again it’s nice to get a story that reminds you of the evergreen aspects of a character. That’s where Robbie Thompson and Nick Bradshaw’s Spidey comes in. A modern update of Peter Parker’s high school years, Spidey is a series that taps into the classic Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Amazing Spider-Man issues, much like the 90’s Untold Tales of Spider-Man series did.
This issue finds Peter Parker preparing for his first tutoring session with Gwen Stacy, which is obviously making him sweat more than usual. Surprisingly, it goes over really well, which has Spidey on cloud nine when he’s swinging around on patrol. Of course, things for Spidey can’t be great forever, and he comes across a bank robbery being held by Flint Marko, aka the Sandman.
Robbie Thompson’s script charms me even more than the first issue. Unlike many modern updates on famous characters, Spidey’s references to Instagram, cell phones, and even Lord of the Rings don’t feel forced. Thompson absolutely nails the trials and tribulations of Peter Parker in high school, and he’s able to distill down the lasting qualities that have made Spider-Man the icon that he is.
Adding to the Spider-Man iconography in Spidey is Nick Bradshaw’s art. From the character designs to the panel layouts, Spidey is a tour de force for Bradshaw, who’s clearly having a blast drawing this book. There’s tons of frenetic action and gorgeous visuals in this issue. Thompson’s script is the cake, but Bradshaw’s art is the frosting on top.
Spidey is the perfect book for Spider-Man fans that want classic action without years of continuity, and it’s even better for new readers. The first issue of this series blew me away, and thankfully, this second issue was just as good. To say that I love this series would be an understatement. Spidey is a must read for fans of the wall-crawler.